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David Richardson: Defender of Social Justice

March 1, 2012

David Richardson (right) was remarkably devoted to his constituents, as noted by colleagues.

David Richardson grew up with a strong awareness of the social issues in his Germantown community and across the nation. This awareness motivated Richardson at age 18 to be a leader in a city-wide protest, calling for more black teachers and administrators, the right to wear African clothing, and the teaching of African history in the Philadelphia public high schools.

On November 17, 1967,  Richardson, his fellow African American high school students, and their supporters marched on the Philadelphia School Board. Those who remember the day recall students marching down Broad Street from North Philadelphia and up from South Philadelphia.

Five years after the protest, at age 23, Richardson took the 201st legislative district seat in a landslide victory. In his 22 years in the state capital, Richardson chaired dozens of committees and supported hundreds of bills. He was renowned for his commitment to social justice and his loyalty to his constituents.

David Richardson tragically died at age 47 of a heart attack when he collapsed in his home on Chew Avenue. Richardson is considered to be one of the greatest leaders of Germantown, and his commitment to social justice continues to inspire young leaders today.

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